Chase Revel, who created advertisments for Gero Vita International's dietary supplements, is to pay $27,500 to redress consumers and to post a $1 million performance bail before he can advertise, market, offer for sale, sell, or distribute any food or dietary supplement.
The original complaint by the FTC alleged that seven corporations and five individuals had deceptively marketed five dietary supplements. Revel is the last of the defendants to settle the FTC's charges.
Earlier this month the FTC banned A Glenn Braswell, said to be the mastermind behind the scheme, from the direct response marketing of foods, unapproved drugs, and dietary supplements. Braswell was already under another consent decree from alleged violations of the FTC Act. He was also required to pay $1 million and turn over assets worth $3.5 million to settle the FTC's charges.
The accused created the Journal of Longevity, a direct mail ad that purported to be a health-information magazine, and used this to market products such as Lung Support Formula, Antibetic Pancreas Tonic, GH3 Romanian Youth Formula, and Testerex.
It was claimed that Lung Support Formula was could cure all respiratory conditions including emphysema and asthma; the former is known to be incurable. Antibetic Pancreas Tonic was said to cure both type-1 and 2 diabetes - again conditions for which there are no medical cure.
GH3 was advertised as a product that could reverse and prevent Alzheimer's, while Testerex was purported to treat up to 95 per cent of impotence and erectile dysfunction problems.
"Consumers have a right to expect the ads they read to be truthful," said Lydia Parnes from the FTC. "Anyone who cooks up false or misleading claims in an ad - from those who write them to those who sell the product -will be held accountable."
The stipulated final order, which does not constitute an admission of a law violation by the defendant, was filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California on January 23, 2006.